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My Best Race — It’s Not What You Think (Plus Bonus Haikus!)

It’s You Can Do It Week here on FBG, so we thought it would be fun for each FBG to share a little something we overcame, conquered or faced — plus a haiku (or two). Hopefully our stories inspire you to try something new, face fears and, generally, just GO FOR IT!

Months ago, my virtual bud Chris Cooper (Author of this amazing book — we actually became friends after that review. Gotta love the web!) asked if I’d share the story of my “best race.” For his new book, he was interviewing 50 runners of all kinds (see my story on p.118!) to share what made that event so darn special. And for me, there was no question: Disney Marathon with Tish in January 2010. Hands down. Best race ever.

But, that’s not because I felt awesome that day, ran it fast or generally had a good run. In fact, I had a terrible run. A painful one (due to what was a glute injury). The kind you want to be over well before it’s over. The one that — because you’ve spent months training for it and imagining it — makes you want to stop and cry on the sideline because it is NOT what you pictured when training. A run that makes you say argh, owww and all the curse words you know. In rapid succession.

Yeah, that kind of race. You can see it on my face as I attempt a smile for the camera.


Not typically the definition of someone’s “best race.” But, it WAS my best race. You can read the full mile-by-mile recap of my Disney Marathon here, but that race meant more to me than any other physical feat I’d ever faced. I worked hard for it, and I faced a huge amount of adversity come race day, from the freezing temps to the nonstop hip and glute throbbing. But that race changed me. It showed me that I could do anything I really worked for. And it made me realize that, deep down, I was strong. Tough. I was a marathoner. I still carry that badge with honor.

In addition, this race took Tish and I’s best-friendness to the next level. She’s been there for me since junior high, but this was a new level. She stuck by me the whole race — despite the fact that she was having an awesome run and could have run it much, much faster without me. But we trained together (long-distance, but still together!) and we were going to finish it together. From helping me to focus on what didn’t hurt on my body (I’ll be honest — at a few points it came down to just elbows and vajajays) to cracking jokes at precisely the right moment to saying “You know what? This sucks. Let’s run to that sign and then take a walk break,” she was my rock. And that level of sister-friendship definitely made for my best run ever. Freezing temps, hurt butt and all.


And now, it’s time for a haiku. Because, well, haikus are awesome. And there’s nothing quite like a little poetry to bring a point home.

Pain, guts and glory
But there’s more to the story
Friendship above all

And, a sillier one. Just ’cause.

Freezing at Disney
Running with a bum behind
I did it mo-fo!

Want to write a haiku or two about your “best race?” Would looove to hear it! —Jenn

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